Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will break its annual paid-visitor record by more than ten thousand visitors. The announcement was made Friday, June 15 by the Patriots Point Development Authority’s (PPDA) Board of Directors as they approved the fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget. The upcoming achievement will mark the seventh consecutive year that the museum’s attendance has grown.
Patriots Point’s previous record for paid attendance was set in 1987 at 297,371 visitors. The museum expects to surpass the 310,000 ticket mark at the completion of this month – 10,000 more than was projected at the start of FY 2018 despite having to close because of Hurricane Irma and a snow storm. The new paid attendance record does not include 21,000 campers who slept overnight aboard the USS Yorktown as part of the museum’s camping program. Patriots Point’s total attendance in 2018 will be approximately 329,000 visitors.
“We are extremely proud of this accomplishment,” said Patriots Point’s Executive Director Mac Burdette. “With guidance from our board, we have invested in our museum by using data analytics to strategically market new interactive experiences throughout the southeast. Those investments are paying off.”
Burdette says the museum’s $13 million FY 2019 budget will continue to fund exciting exhibits and renovations. It will also address future obligations of Patriots Point’s recently approved 99-year land lease deal with Patriots Annex LLC. Those obligations include the design and construction of a new entrance and office facility for museum staff.
Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum’s operational expenditures will increase in 2019 by approximately
$450,000, while total revenue will rise by a projected $700,000 to reach $13.7 million.
Major projects planned for FY 2019 involve painting the USS Yorktown’s superstructure and several new projects including: Phase II of the USS Yorktown’s Engine Room Experience, a new Cold War exhibit in the USS Laffey pilot house, and a new Special Forces exhibit in the Vietnam Experience. Additionally, the museum plans to host at least eight free community programs throughout the year beginning with a symposium on the United States Coast Guard Cutter Icarus that sunk a German U-boat in WWII. That event will be held aboard the USS Yorktown at 7 p.m. on August 3.